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  • "DEAR ABBY: I have a different sort of pet peeve, but I hope you will let me air it. If you do, I'm sure it will generate a collective sigh of relief from a few million TV watchers -- and hopefully, a station manager or two might take notice.

    The weather reports all start with the terrific computer-generated maps and diagrams presented by both local and national TV meteorologists. However, they insist on standing in front of their display and waving their arms madly around, which is distracting, infuriating, and adds zilch to the report.

    A typical example: The weather reporter announces the temperature in Boston is 74 degrees, then he walks across the screen to point at the number on the map. Then the reporter shows how a front is moving from the Southwest, following the station manager's instructions:

    "Crouch low, sweep arms around crazily and move to the center of the screen. Stand in front of the home city data. Smile proudly. Point out the local forecast because the map is now completely obscured."

    Why can't the old rubber-tipped pointers used by our grade school geography teachers (who stood thoughtfully off to the side while lecturing) be retired from the chalk trays of America and put back into service? Unlike little children, TV weathercasters should be heard and not seen. -- RETIRED TEACHER IN MORRISVILLE, N.Y."

  • The Sacramento (Calif.) Fire Department reported in November that a resident had dropped by the fire station on Granada Way in order to turn in a grenade he had found in his garage. It was later safely detonated. (As in many previous such episodes nationwide, Sacramento authorities requested that anyone who comes across a bomb or grenade should simply report its whereabouts, and not pick it up and, especially, not bring it to them) {KCRA- TV in Sacramento}

  • An Arkansas man had more than a sticking throttle to worry about, after his dog got behind the wheel of his truck. Michael Henson took his dog with him when he drove to an auto parts store in Springdale, Arkansas, Sunday, so he could fix the throttle problem. He left the truck running while he was in the store. The dog jumped over and knocked the truck into gear, sending it crashing into the store. Henson told police he was standing there in the store when he looked up and saw his dog driving his truck through the window. No one was hurt and no humans or animals were cited.

  • The Constitution is housed in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. During the daytime, pages one and four of the document are displayed in a bullet-proof case. The case contains helium and water vapor to preserve the paper's quality. At night, the pages are lowered into a vault, behind five-ton doors that are designed to withstand a nuclear explosion. The entire Constitution is displayed only one day a year, September 17, the anniversary of the day the framers signed the document.

  • The St. Augustine Record announced the opening of artist Andrea Giovanni's exhibit on behalf of The Betty Griffin House, a local shelter for battered women. Eight days later, the same newspaper carried news of Giovanni's arrest for allegedly beating up her boyfriend and trying to run him over with her car. (St. Augustine Record)

  • Kenneth Davis, 42, saw a wild, 6-foot-long blacksnake in his neighborhood in Lawrence Township, NJ and decided to coax it, probably as a joke, toward the residence of his friend Michael File. Michael's father saw the snake in his yard and stomped it to death, angering Davis, who knocked the father down. Michael File came to his dad's defense, but Davis picked up the snake, twirled it over his head, and began to beat Michael with it. Michael File then grabbed a baseball bat and hit Davis just as police and rescue workers arrived. Police note that (can you believe it?) "alcohol was involved." (Gloucester County Times)

  • Do you have any 6's?

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